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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Mar 29, 2017


Halifax, Nova Scotia

An expat in Halifax, Nova Scotia enjoys that locals plan small gatherings where you can really get to know people. She talks about the high tax rate, inability to save money while living in Halifax and more.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

No

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Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

No

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How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

The tax rate of 15 per cent on everything you buy was the biggest shock! I loved the old fashion way that the radio stations use. Very nostalgic and better for older citizens.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

No, did not experience these stages. I was surprised that some people resented property being bought by people from other countries, and accused them of buying up all the "good stuff". They still had to pay the high tax rate! So, I could not understand that.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

I did get homesick and frustrated by the high prices and high tax rate.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Did like the way they arrange small gatherings which allows one to really get to know each other, esp. in church groups, ladies circle groups, and neighborhood gatherings. Also, strangers often talk about local places and events with others.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The inability to save here. I used to think a lot of Canadians were cheap and didn't like to tip, etc. However, I realize now that they are not able to save much at all because of high prices, esp. for real estate and automobiles and any food associated with " luxury".

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

None that I am aware.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Do your homework before you get here.

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